Spotlight on student discounts at acclaimed Bay Area theaters

Oct. 30, 2014, 11:44 p.m.

The Bay Area has no shortage of theater, from student shows to community productions to large professional theaters. Even better, you can see great theater on a student budget thanks to some generous student discounts. Here’s a look at some of our favorite theaters, which offer great student discounts (in no particular order):

1. Berkeley Repertory Theater: half price tickets if you’re under 30 or discounted student rush tickets 1 hour before the show

Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Photo by Timothy Hursley, courtesy of ELS.

Berkeley Repertory Theater is known for producing enthralling theater, everything from up-and-coming plays to classics to international tours. Some of our past favorites include the British theater company Kneehigh’s “Tristan and Yseult,” Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land” with Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen, and Stanford alum David Henry Hwang’s “Chinglish.” Tickets are half price for the “Under 30” club, students can get rush tickets ($10 off) one hour before each show. Groups of 10 or more get additional discounts. Don’t miss out on a chance to see a show at one of the best regional theaters!

2. American Conservatory Theater: student subscriptions, rush tickets and group matinee tickets

American Conservatory Theater supports both classic and contemporary work. Every year it produces Dickens’ “Christmas Carol,” but it also produces contemporary works. We’re looking forward to Tom Stoppard’s “Indian Ink” next January and the 2015-2016 production of “The Unfortunates,” a new musical that premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2013. The theater company offers season subscription packages at discounted prices for students, but for individual shows, they also offer student rush tickets two hours before the show. They also offer student matinees with discounted group tickets ($15 each) and post-show discussions.

Geary Theater at American Conservatory Theater. Photo by Kevin Berne, courtesy of A.C.T.
Geary Theater at American Conservatory Theater. Photo by Kevin Berne, courtesy of A.C.T.

3. Aurora Theater Company: $15 tickets for full-time college students

Aurora Theater Company is a smaller theater company, but has received a lot of critical acclaim for its work, often putting on less widely known but still wonderful plays. Recently Jim Carpenter starred in their highly touted production of David Mamet’s “American Buffalo,” which was followed by Gina Gionfriddo’s “Rapture, Blister, Burn,” a play exploring feminism, sex and history. We’re looking forward to “Breakfast with Mugabe,” a new play about the Zimbabwean dictator starring visiting Stanford Shakespeare lecturer L. Peter Callender. Any full-time college student can see their shows for only $15, which is a wonderful deal to see some of the Bay Area’s best actors.

4. Magic Theatre: $20 student tickets

Magic Theatre in San Francisco was the home of playwright Sam Shepard (“Fool for Love,” “Buried Child,” “Curse of the Starving Class”) in the ’70s and has more recently made a comeback. Student tickets for any of the shows here are $20, which is an especially great deal given seats normally cost $50. Associate artistic director Ryan Purcell is currently teaching a directing class at Stanford, and recently directed “Bad Jews” at the theater. Other upcoming works include “And I and Silence” by award-winning playwright Naomi Wallace, and “This Golden State,” a co-commission with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

5. SF Playhouse: $20-50 student tickets, $15-25 student rush tickets and group discounts

SF Playhouse has been bringing award-winning new work and high quality theater to the Bay Area for the last two decades, from Rajiv Joseph’s Pulitzer-nominated “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” last year to the upcoming contemporary take on Chekov “Stupid F*cking Bird” next March. Prices range greatly, from $20 to over $50, but student rush tickets are available before shows, where you can get better seats for $15-$25. In addition, groups of 10 or more get 25 percent off (plus $5 off for a group of students). Situated in the middle of San Francisco, it’s a great location with great theater.

Contact Noemi Berkowitz at noemi11 ‘at’ 

Noemi Berkowitz is the Chief Theater Critic and a desk editor at The Stanford Daily. She is a junior from Lincoln, Nebraska, double majoring in theater and psychology. You may see her reciting Shakespeare, wearing tie-dye and hiking. Contact her at noemi11 'at'

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